Thursday, May 3, 2018

Integrated Care Model Found to Reduce Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Care

Interventions that used a model of integrated care reduced the disparity between racial/ethnic minorities and whites obtaining mental health care for the first time, according to a review published yesterday in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

Between 2004 and 2012, the gulf between whites and racial/ethnic groups in accessing mental health care widened in the United States, wrote Su Yeon Lee-Tauler, Ph.D., of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and colleagues.

Their systematic review drew from three databases in February 2016 and examined interventions intended to improve initiation of mental health services among racial/ethnic minority groups. A total of 29 studies were examined.

“[S]even studies provided evidence that screening and referral, colocation of primary care and mental health services, and collaborative care interventions not only improved mental health outcomes but also contributed to disparities reduction in initiation of care,” Lee-Tauler and colleagues wrote. “Notably, six of the seven interventions that reduced racial/ethnic disparities in initiation of mental health services primarily used an integrated care model. Each of the six interventions resulted in increased uptake of psychotherapy or antidepressant use among members of racial/ethnic minority groups compared with white participants.”

Of the 29 studies examined, 23 incorporated adaptations (either social, cultural, or linguistic) designed to address barriers to care. These adaptations involved incorporating feedback from participants from racial/ethnic minority groups on intervention design, using images and phrases that fit participants’ cultural context, training providers in cultural sensitivity, and providing the interventions bilingually.

“We found evidence that integrated care models hold promise in reducing [racial/ethnic] disparities,” the authors concluded. “Importantly, effective interventions to reduce disparities in care must be widely disseminated and implemented to be of value.”

For related information, see the Psychiatric News article “AAGP Session to Focus on Evaluation, Treatment of Older Minority Patients.”

(Image: iStock/asiseeit)


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